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Gluten-Free Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Coconut Tres Leches

Tres Leches cake is a popular dessert in Latin American cuisine. It is a light cake that is soaked in three types of milk: evaporated milk, condensed milk and heavy cream. The cake is then topped with whipped cream and, sometimes, fresh fruit. The result is a delicious and moist cake that is perfect for any occasion. Tres Leches cake is a crowd-pleaser and is sure to impress your guests. It is easy to make and can be customized by adding different flavors such as coconut.

For this gluten-free coconut tres leches cake, I have chosen to swap out all of the dairy milks for coconut milks, which not only creates a delicious coconut version of the dessert, but also makes it dairy free. Most major supermarkets in the United States carry sweetened condensed and evaporated coconut milk, as well as heavy coconut cream. If  you cannot find them in the store, you can order them online. If you cannot find heavy coconut cream, you can use full-fat, canned coconut milk by putting it in the refrigerator and just skimming off the solid thick white part that rises to the top of the can.

Gluten Free Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Gluten-Free Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Course: Dessert
Keyword: Cake, coconut, tres leches
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
soaking: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 536 kcal
Author: Alina Eisenhauer

This cake can be made using regular milks instead of coconut milks if you prefer not to have coconut, or you cannot find them all in coconut.




  • 300 grams 1:1 gluten-free flour blend
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 250 grams granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 112 grams unsalted butter (or plant butter)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 225 grams milk or coconut milk* (not canned)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract (optional)


  • 150 grams shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)

Leches soaker

  • 390 grams sweetened condensed coconut milk - can use regular sweet condensed milk
  • 340 grams evaporated coconut milk -can use regular evaporated milk
  • 112 grams heavy cream** (or heavy coconut cream)

Whipped Cream

  • 350 grams heavy cream** (or heavy coconut cream)
  • 65 grams confectioners' sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla



  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.

  2. Add the butter, and mix until you have a uniform sandy texture and no lumps of butter remain

  3. In a separate bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, coconut milk, vanilla and almond extract, if using.

  4. With the mixer running, slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, and mix until smooth and totally combined.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and set the batter aside to rest for 30 minutes.

  6. Grease a 10-inch springform pan or a 9x13-inch inch cake pan.

  7. Bake for 15 minutes, rotate and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cake springs back when lightly touched, and a cake tester comes out clean.

  8. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for about 30-60 minutes in the pan.


  1. While the cake is cooling, toast the coconut garnish.

  2. In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, add the shredded coconut in an even layer. Toast about 3 to 5 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant, stirring constantly so it doesn't burn. Remove from pan immediately, and set aside.

Leches Soaker

  1. Once the cake has cooled, prepare the topping by whisking together the condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream.

  2. Using a large fork or a wooden skewer, poke holes all over the cake (poke down to the bottom of the cake pan). Pour milk mixture slowly and evenly over cake.

  3. Cover, and transfer cake to the refrigerator and allow to chill for at least several hours - preferably overnight.

Whipped Cream

  1. Once ready to serve, prepare whipped cream.

  2. Combine heavy cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl, and use an electric mixer to whip until it is thick and stiff peaks form.

  3. Spread whipped cream over tres leches cake, and sprinkle with toasted coconut garnish if desired.

Recipe Notes

*Canned coconut milk (even the light ones) are too high in fat for the cake. It is best to use the coconut milk that comes in the carton (usually 4.5 grams fat per cup) or use almond milk or regular dairy milk.

**If using heavy coconut cream for the whipped topping, make sure to chill well before whipping.

Nutrition Facts
Gluten-Free Coconut Tres Leches Cake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 536 Calories from Fat 279
% Daily Value*
Fat 31g48%
Saturated Fat 21g131%
Trans Fat 0.3g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 101mg34%
Sodium 204mg9%
Potassium 264mg8%
Carbohydrates 61g20%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 44g49%
Protein 7g14%
Vitamin A 917IU18%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 162mg16%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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